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I noticed I have a WiFi direct network adapter in Device Manager. Did a bit of research and it provides peer-to-peer communication between two devices using WiFi.

I searched on how to treansfer files between two windows 8 laptops but no results. Everything I see is programmer or developer talk?

This article at Microsoft TechNet was the closest thing I could find. Yet it doesn't totally explain how to send a file from computer A to computer B using WiFi Direct.

Why can't I find anything about file transfers, etc. about it? How can I use WiFi Direct?
Do I need third party software to send files using WiFi Direct?

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I think the thing that is always missing from discussions of WiFi Direct is that it's not a product (like say Windows File Sharing), it's a standard (like say Samba). It took me ages to understand this. You can find tons of products that implement Samba (and likewise a few that implement WiFi Direct) but there's not going to be a button called "WiFi Direct" in Windows, just like there's no button labeled "Samba". If you get WiFi Direct support, it will come from a product. I haven't found one that works in Windows yet. –  James B Jan 10 at 17:45

4 Answers 4

up vote 3 down vote accepted

You probably just want to transfer data or files between the two PC's, right?

Believe it or not, the sad truth is that the most fool-proof way is to use a flash disc, removable harddrive, or a service such as Skype, Dropbox or email - for which you don't need any connection other than an internet conneciton.

The benefits to a direct "Wi-Fi" connection is, of course, that it won't eat your bandwidth. (But that's different from the "Wi-Fi Direct" protocol!)

So for a way to copy files between your computers without using any internet bandwidth, first you need to get them connected to each other somehow:

Option 1

The simplest way is to run a Wireless Hotspot (Personal Hotspot) on an Android, Blackberry or iPhone, and connect both your computers to that same Wireless network.

Option 2

Another way is to simply run a network cable between the two. (No need for a cross-over cable on modern computers.)

Option 3

Ad-Hoc mode - which is simple to set up on Windows XP or Windows 7 but no other operating systems.

Now the "fun" part.

Once they're on the same network, you can use any one of several applications or protocols to copy files. Generally, there is no universal or fool-proof way. Here are your options:

  • Windows File Sharing. Right click on a folder and choose "Share". There are lots of things that can break this, from version mismatches to password settings.
  • FTP Server and client
  • Skype (If you're on the same LAN it won't use your internet bandwidth if you both have LAN IP addresses - see below)
  • Web server program on the host PC. (Eg. http://www.rejetto.com/hfs/ Simply run it in the folder you want to copy files from)


Each computer on a network has it's own "internet phone number" called an IP address. From Windows you can usually find other computers without knowing these addresses by simply browsing the "Network Neighborhood" or "Homegroup" - but sometimes this freezes up or doesn't work - so, on Windows, plan B is generally to click the start menu, and run and then \\IP-address-of-other-pc for example \\ This will either open up the shared folders on that PC or it will prompt you for a username and password for an account on that PC. Google for "Find my LAN IP address". (LAN is important here, as it is your local address, not your internet address which the internet sees! Think of an internal extension vs. your "direct (inward) dial" (or DID) Phone number - so technically you have two IP addresses - your LAN IP address and your internet IP address.)

If you're using FTP or a web server, you generally enter the IP address of the host (server) PC in your FTP client or web browser, to access the files hosted there.

If your "internet address" is 169.254.something.something, then it means that there is no router or gateway on your network to assign addresses to your computers and they just randomly guessed addresses for themselves. This usually only happens after 2 minutes though, so be patient!

Wi-fi direct is still in it's infancy

Wi-Fi direct is a special protocol which probably won't see PC support due to innumerable technicalities. You'll be lucky if you get it to work between two devices from different vendors. And yes, it will take special software and some more years to mature. Microsoft obviously included it to compete with Samsung on mobile devices. But it really is a pointless protocol IMHO.

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well then I don't get why "WiFi Direct" is available in my laptop and my friends laptop.. (both same laptops ByTheWay). We just hate to use cables - but yes they give us 1gpbs net connection - . As for WiFi direct I hoped it would be the fast alternative to wireless for shargin, for examlpe 14GB games between the pc's. And somehow when I host a hotspot on my laptop this next issue arises.. –  user144773 Jun 5 '13 at 19:53
It's available because of Microsoft playing "keeping up with the Joneses"... You could probably get it to work, provided you both have identical laptops... but it's probably more trouble than it's worth! –  Dagelf Jun 5 '13 at 21:18
We have identical laptops.. except the MACs which are unique of course. and HWID's –  user144773 Jun 5 '13 at 22:27
Lol, thankfully! If those were the same it wouldn't work at all. –  Dagelf Jun 5 '13 at 22:28
Android Hotspot and Skype file share is really bright idea: +1. seems like the fastest (easiest to setup) solution that can be possible. –  Antony Lee Oct 1 '13 at 1:26

Well, both devices should understand wifi direct protocol. so we should use special programs to do that.

you can use this for android

the principal of connecting via wifi direct is similar like blootooth connection.

for computers, you should use direct connection with ad hoc feature in adapter settings, i bet this could help (link)

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This doesn't really say how... I want the [up to] 250 mbps speed which WiFi Direct Promises. Blutooth and ad hoc seem to slow for me. But, if ad hoc should work, you can answer my other question. –  user144773 May 6 '13 at 13:47

The technology of WiFi Direct is still new and has not yet matured in Windows 8.

If your network card is made by Intel and is compatible, you can install Intel My Wi-Fi Dashboard to enable WiFi-Direct.

This should theoretically already have been installed on your computer together with the network driver. If it is not available on your computer, I advise to download from Intel and install the full driver package for your network card.

If still unavailable, you can try to download the stand-alone package from Intel at Intel My WiFi Dashboard Software for Windows 8.

My above first link also contains full documentation by Intel for the product.

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Try a new utility called Feem. It is meant to do exactly what you want in the simplest way and is available for mobile and desktop platforms. Free to try, $5 to buy.

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